Required Testing of Rape Kits (HB 528)

Sponsors: Rep. Melissa Wintrow
* Requires that all evidence obtained in a medical examination of a sexual assault victim be tested unless the victim indicates otherwise
* Local law enforcement agencies that obtain this evidence must submit it for testing as soon as possible
* The Idaho Forensic Laboratory will report to the legislature annually regarding the number of cases where evidence was tested and the findings

Right to Try (HB 481)

Sponsors: Rep. Melissa Wintrow
* Protects the fundamental right of people to try to save their own lives
* Allows terminal patients access to investigational drugs that have completed basic safety testing (meaning phase one of an FDA clinical trial)
* Requires doctor’s recommendation/documentation and patient’s consent
* Manufacturers are not required to make the drug or service available

Stalking Protection Orders (SB 1373)

Sponsors: Sen. Grant Burgoyne
* Extends Idaho’s civil protection order statute to cover people who are being stalked by a stranger or acquaintance.

Tuition Stabilization Fund (HB 412)

Sponsor: Rep. Paulette Jordan
 Co-Sponsors: Rep. Rudolph, Rep. Smith, Rep. Wintrow, Rep. Gannon, Rep. King, Rep. Chew, Sen. Burgoyne, Sen. Schmidt
* Creates a fourth account within the Higher Education Stabilization Fund
* Funds appropriated to keep resident undergraduate tuition at public four-year universities from outpacing growth in the three-year rolling average of the median household income
* Transfers 0.1% of surplus from the budget stabilization fund when the fund reaches $420 million (donations are also accepted)

Universal Service Fund (Broadband) (HB 408)

Sponsor: Rep. Mat Erpelding
 Co-Sponsors: Rep. Jordan, Rep. Rusche, Rep. Nye, Sen. Burgoyne, Sen. Stennett
* It’s about expanding communications (everything from cable to broadband), not telecommunications (just landlines)
* Gives the Public Utilities Commission authority to designate which communications services should be available and affordable
* Funded through a PUC-established surcharge on consumers of no more than .20 cents a month

Quality Educator Student Loan Forgiveness (HB 411)

Sponsor: Rep. Sally Toone
 Co-Sponsor: Rep. Jordan, Rep. Rusche, Rep. Nye, Sen. Burgoyne, Sen. Stennett, Rep. Erpelding
* Forgives up to $3,000 a year in student loans for four years
* K-12 teachers in under-performing, rural, and low-income districts are eligible

Business Tax Credit (HB 424)

Sponsor: Rep. Dan Rudolph
 Co-Sponsor: Rep. Nye, Rep. Smith, Rep. Kloc, Rep. Jordan, Sen. Burgoyne, Sen. Buckner-Webb
* Provides an incentive for businesses to pay employees’ tuition
* Credit is $500 or 50% of tuition, whichever is less
* Estimated impact: eight million dollars in tax credits providing assistance to nearly 16,000 students

Minimum Wage (HB 400)

Sponsor: Rep. Mat Erpelding
 Co-Sponsor: Rep. Wintrow, Rep. Gannon, Rep. Chew, Rep. Paulette Jordan, Sen. Stennett, Sen. Maryanne Jordan, Sen. Burgoyne, Sen. Buckner-Webb
* Raises the minimum wage to $8.25 in July 2016 and to $9.25 in July 2017
* In 2018, the minimum wage becomes inflation-adjusted (tied to the Consumer Price Index)
* Tipped wage: Starts at $3.35 – $3.80 (2016) -$4.25 (2017)
* Seasonal wage: Starts at $4.25 – $4.70 (2016) – $5.35 (2017)

Sales Tax Review Commission (HB 419)

Sponsor: Rep. Paulette Jordan
 Co-Sponsor: Rep. Rudolph, Rep. Wintrow, Rep. Nye, Rep. Rubel, Rep. Erpelding, Sen. Stennett, Sen. Lacey, Sen. Burgoyne
* Creates a fifteen-member commission that reviews sales tax exemptions at least every eight years
* Does not sunset existing tax exemptions; an advisory role only, reviewing two large sets of exemptions, one in 2017 and the other in 2018
* Criteria: fairness, simplicity, and benefits (among other things)

Hire Idaho (HB 402)

Sponsor: Rep. Paulette Jordan, Rep. Dan Rudolph
 Co-Sponsor: Rep. Erpelding, Rep. Chew, Rep. Smith
* Preference given to Idaho-based businesses, laborers, and materials in state and local contracts of less than $5 million
* Government entities prefer local businesses and materials if the Idaho bid is no more than 5% higher and if the quality of products/services is equal
* Resident Idaho workers shall be used whenever possible

Senior Workforce Development (HB 409)

Sponsor: Rep. John McCrostie
 Co-Sponsor: Rep. Kloc, Rep. King, Rep. Chew
* Counties may offer full or partial local property tax exemptions (up to five years) to businesses that contribute to county-level senior workforce development funds
* Applies to people 55 years old and up; preference for people without previous higher education and veterans
* Implemented immediately

Permanent Absentee Voting (HB 401)

Sponsor: Rep. Dan Rudolph
 Co-Sponsor: Rep. Rubel, Rep. Paulette Jordan, Rep. Chew, Rep. Pence, Rep. Wintrow, Sen. Ward-Engelking, Sen. Stennett, Sen. Maryanne Jordan, Sen. Burgoyne
* Places an additional box on application where permanent absentee status can be indicated
* Status lost if voter dies or becomes ineligible to vote
* In effect January 1st, 2017
* Voter becomes permanent absentee in all elections for which s/he is eligible

Online Voter Registration (HB 407)

Sponsor: Rep. John McCrostie
 Co-Sponsor: Rep. Wintrow,  Rep. Smith, Rep. Erpelding, Rep. Jordan, Rep. Pence, Sen. Burgoyne
* Initial costs estimated at $350,000; counties may save $200,000 annually
* May register by completing an online application
* Online signature and DMV copy of driver’s license required
* Implemented in 2017
* Publicly available on the Secretary of State’s site

Healthy Idaho (SB 1204-1205)
* 1205: People earning less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are eligible for Managed Medicaid enrollment.
* Idahoans earning between 100% – 138% of FPL would be enrolled in the state exchange and their premium supported by state and federal funds.
* 1204: Makes all individuals whose income is below 138% of the Federal Poverty level eligible for medicaid.
* Access to medical care for approximately 78,000 Idahoans through the state based health insurance exchange
* Eliminates the need for county indigent programs and the state catastrophic health cost payment program

Pre-K Pilot Program

Sponsors: Rep. Hy Kloc
* Establishes a three-year voluntary pilot program
* Students must be at least 4 years old
* $1.4 million cost for three years (55% of that in private grants or other private money, 45% from the legislature)
* Certified public and private kindergarten preparedness providers may participate

Inspector General (HB 466)

Sponsors: Rep. John Rusche
* Cost for an inspector general, two investigators, and one support staff is roughly $350,000 annually
* Appointed for six-year terms
* Processes complaints and reports alleging fraud, waste, duplication, abuse, or corruption in state agencies and in the state legislature and reports to the attorney general

Security for Seniors

Sponsors: Rep. Mat Erpelding
* Giving family caregivers the information they need to help loved ones age in place
* Things will change–we’re working on a modified version of the bill with the AARP.
* Patients or their legal guardians may designate one or more caregivers when a patient enters a hospital.
* With the patient’s consent, the hospital may release the patient’s medical information to the caregiver.
* Hospitals may work with caregivers and patients to develop an aftercare program that includes the tasks necessary to maintain the patient’s ability to reside in her/his residence

Hunter, Angler & Trapper Access (HCR 53)

Sponsors: Rep. Mat Erpelding
* Opposes any proposals that bar Idaho hunters, anglers and trappers from accessing state endowment trust land on the basis of exclusivity
* Encourages the State Board of Land Commissioners to preserve and promote reasonable and equitable access to state endowment trust land for the benefit of all Idahoans.

Nexus Modernization Act (HB 581)

Sponsors: Rep. Mat Erpelding
* Defines the terms “retailer” and “retailer engaged in business in this state” for state sales tax purposes for determining a nexus to Idaho.
* Expands the definition to also include businesses that have distribution facilities, marketing, advertising, fulfillment and other operations in the state.